Bears

2020 mock draft sends Bears help on offense in second round

2020 mock draft sends Bears help on offense in second round

Bears fans suffered through the magic that was Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Sunday's AFC divisional round, a game Kansas City won, 51-31, over the Houston Texans.

Naturally, Sunday's playoff games have Bears fans looking toward the future, and there's no better way to at least generate a little bit of excitement for the offseason than through a mock draft.

The Draft Network's Ben Solak recently published a two-round mock draft, and if his prediction turns into reality, the Bears will end up with two players who could immediately help on offense.

Neither is a quarterback, by the way.

At pick No. 43, Solak sends the Bears Washington tight end Hunter Bryant, who's quickly becoming the consensus top tight end in class.

Bryant is the most NFL-ready as a pass-catcher and would add the kind of explosive element at tight end that the Bears have been missing for years. Trey Burton was supposed to be that guy the last two seasons, but at this point, he's been a huge flop. 

It's worth noting that Bryant is the first tight end selected in Solak's mock draft. With no first-round tight ends likely in 2020, the Bears may end up with their pick of the litter at No. 43, assuming that's the direction they choose to go. They could be strategic too, of course. If no tight ends have been selected by the 43rd pick, there's a good chance they'll still end up with one of the top two players at the position at pick 50. 

As for that 50th pick, in this mock draft the Bears end up with TCU offensive tackle Lucas Niang.

Graded as a likely NFL starter, this selection will excite the part of the fanbase that believes Chicago needs an upgrade at tackle. But with Charles Leno, Jr. and Bobby Massie at least being competent NFL starters, there will be a bigger need at guard barring a move in free agency.

It's also fair to suggest that the player picked 51st in this mock, Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette, might be the better option for the Bears at 50. Chicago's cornerback situation is murky at best with veteran Prince Amukamara likely on the salary-cap chopping block this offseason. The Bears don't have the kind of cap room to make a big splash in free agency to replace Amukamara, so it's likely Pace will target the position early in the 2020 draft.

A fan's guide for how to watch the NFL Combine

A fan's guide for how to watch the NFL Combine

The 2020 NFL Combine will go a long way in determining the final draft grade for each of the 337 prospects participating in on-field drills. General managers and scouts want to see whether their athletic testing matches the traits noted on film. If a player runs faster than he plays, scouts will question his on-field instincts and overall football IQ. In the alternative, if he runs slower than he plays, questions about level of competition and the ability to 'win' on the NFL level will be raised.

But in order to understand whether or not a prospect is having a good performance, you first have to know what the NFL is looking for as its minimum time/result required for each position and drill.

NFL Hall-of-Fame executive Gil Brandt, one of the legendary draft minds in the sport, shared what has become the standard breakdown each team uses when assessing a player's 40 time, 3-cone drill, broad jump, vertical jump and more.

Check it out:

Keep this page bookmarked this week and refer back to this chart as your favorite Bears prospects try to run and jump their way to Chicago. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

2020 mock draft sends Bears OL, CB in 2nd round

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USA TODAY

2020 mock draft sends Bears OL, CB in 2nd round

The 2020 NFL Draft is front and center with the NFL Combine kicking off this week in Indianapolis. The week-long underwear Olympics represents the real start of draft season for the casual fan. Two months from now, we'll find out who the next class of Bears will be, and many of those players will make their case to GM Ryan Pace and the rest of the team's decision-makers over the next several days.

With the unofficial start of draft season comes the need to review the 2020 mock draft landscape. Pace has a chance to add two starters in the second round, and it's important to get a feel for which players could be within reach when Chicago picks at Nos. 43 and 50.

In Joe Marino's latest mock draft for The Draft Network, the Bears add a legitimate starting interior lineman and a cornerback who can challenge to do the same.

At No. 43, Marino sends Chicago Matt Hennessy, the standout center from Temple who can serve in the same capacity for the Bears if Nagy decides to kick Cody Whitehair back to guard. Hennessy was arguably the most impressive offensive lineman at the 2020 Senior Bowl. He routinely won his one-on-one reps and looked every bit the part of a decade-long starter in the middle of an NFL offensive line. 

What makes Hennessy so appealing is his ability to play either center or guard. We saw last season what a position change can do (both good and bad) along the interior of Chicago's offensive line, so depending on what the long-term outlook is for James Daniels and Whitehair, a player like Hennessy can fit any outcome. He'd be a great selection.

At No. 50, Chicago takes Mississippi State cornerback, Cameron Dantzler. This is the first mock draft that has Dantzler pegged to the Bears and it probably won't be the last that has Pace using one of his two second-rounders on a cornerback. The release of Prince Amukamara last week will move cornerback higher on the team's priority list.

Dantzler started 22 games for Mississippi State and totaled five interceptions over the last three seasons. At 6-2, 185 pounds, he brings good height and length to the pros. He projects like a fit in almost any defensive system and could come off the board much higher than the average fan is expecting at this point. How he performs in the athletic testing at the NFL Combine will be critical in his final evaluation. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.